Temporary Wall to be Built Along Track in San Clemente

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – A temporary wall is slated to be built to protect the track from another landslide in San Clemente.

As RT&S has reported, another landslide has left debris along the track in San Clemente, California. 

In an effort to mitigate this happening in the future, Metrolink will “solidify a construction firm to move forward with the construction of a wall that would keep a barrier” between the track and the hillside, according to Scott Johnson from Metrolink commented to KPBS.

The plan comes after the third landslide in less than a year for the area. San Clemente’s Mayor, Chris Duncan said of an alternate route via Amtrak, “It’s just not optimal. It takes a lot of extra time – you’ve got to get off the train, get back on the bus, then go up there.” 

Metrolink plans to hire an outside contract to design and build the wall “on an emergency basis to speed up construction . . . in order to keep any additional debris from the landslide form interfering with traveling passenger trains.”

In terms of the timeline or cost of materials and labor to build this temporary wall, Scott Johnson stated that “details of the size, width, length, height and really even the cost are yet to be determined. There are a number of timelines and numbers that have been discussed, but really nothing definitive.” 

With the emergency basis allowing a speedier construction, Johnson reassured safety by first “getting that construction consultant on board within the next one to two weeks. . . [with] the eventual building of the wall and resumption of service that likely would occur later this summer.”

Currently, only freight is allowed to resume along the track, operating at low speeds. Passenger travel has not been allowed to resume.

For Amtrak, the Los Angeles-San Diego Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) put out a statement that details cost-saving measures “to preserve as much service as possible.” 

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